| 9th September, 2005
Some of you might remember this game. I certainly didn't until a few days ago, but there you go. For those that do, and those that don't but would still like to see what might have been, here is the abandonware version of arcadia.
This game was the first great group project undertaken by Heretic Emu Studios, and as such displays both our greatest strengths - originality, and our greatest weaknesses - the inability to actually finish anything. Note that although Arcadia was a group project, everything you see here with the exception of the title graphic created by Craig (AKA Buster) was created by myself, Paul Jeffries. The idea was that the game would be modular in design, with myself creating the arcade simulation part and the other members would create the minigames which would then slot into it. This release is only my 'module'; the arcade simulation section and two test minigames. The other modules remain the property of the individual members, and you may see them at some point should they decide to release them separately.
However, although I can, and do, take credit for the legwork on what you see here, the more important job of brainstorming and refining ideas and features for the design truly was a group effort in which every member of HES played a part. So, I would like to thank them all and hope that their contribution is noted, even if it is not plainly visible.
The game failed in the end not because of any catastrophic fall-out of the group members, but for rather more mundane reasons. we each had other commitments, other projects we wished to devote our time to. Several members lost a lot of their work due to hardware malfunction. In the end, the project simply fizzled out.
Arcadia gives the player the chance to manage their own arcade. You must build up your arcade by adding machines, decoration, bins etc to draw in the punters, keep your empire in working order by hiring cleaning ladies and technicians and defend it against the machinations of perverts and vandals with lethal force. Not only this, but when you get bored of buying things and shooting people, you can kick back and relax by playing one of your own machines.
There is much in the game that remains incomplete. The AI of your staff lacks the 'go to spot' command, and there would have been security guards to help you defend your arcade. There also would have been mafia attacks to contend with, and some kind of doll collection thing (don't ask me, that wasn't my department). Perhaps most importantly, there would have been more than two types of arcade machine. Sucesses in the arcade games would have unlocked more things in arcade management mode, for example in the proper game you would start with no weapons and would need to unlock them.
However what is there is still fully playable. The lack of arcade games might make it short in lifespan, but what you can experience here is pretty much exactly how the first 10-15 minutes of the full game would have panned out.
- Innovative gameplay
- 2 complete minigames (+ 1 unfinished one)
- 5 weapons to blast away at your enemies
- 2 Staff types to recruit and boss about
- 7 Types of Arcade Furniture to buy and place
I think it's safe to say that in the intervening three years I've got a hell of a lot better at a lot of things, so there's certainly a lot about this game I would now do differently (mostly the control system and the music... euch...), but I still reckon its a pretty good game, or at least could have been, if we'd have ever finished it. Which we didn't.
If anybody's interested at looking at the source code I can't think of any good reason why they shouldn't. It's fairly sparsely commented, but if anybody wants a gander, e-mail me at the address on the website.
For details on how to play or how to access the hidden features, I suggest you look at the readme. If you can't be bothered, the game itself is fairly self-explanitory. Right-click on any object to see information about it.
The download here takes you to a zipped version of the game. If you really want one, there is an installer version at
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http://www.paul-jeffries.com/arcadia.zip (1.13mb )
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